British author Terry Rawlings has revisited the death of Rolling Stones star Brian Jones for an updated version of his acclaimed 1994 book Brian Jones: Who Killed Christopher Robin?. Rawlings insisted the Stones co-founder was murdered 20 years ago, and now he's offering up new evidence he has uncovered since the original book's release to further prove his claims.
The updated edition features an interview with former Rolling Stones road manager Tom Keylock, in which he reveals a contractor who had fallen out with the rock star confessed to killing Jones.
The late Keylock, who died in 2009, claims builder Frank Thorogood admitted to killing Jones on his deathbed in 1993.
The rocker was found drowned in his swimming pool in July, 1969.
In a new interview with Britain's Mojo magazine, Rawlings says, "Brian was definitely murdered and there was a cover-up... It's not a crackpot theory; it's what happened."
Jones' death was last reviewed by police in 2009 following the investigation of hundreds of documents pertaining to the incident by a British journalist, but the case remains officially closed. The original coroner's report stated "death by misadventure" and noted his liver and heart were heavily enlarged by drug and alcohol abuse.
Monty Python star Terry Jones has defended his use of cue cards during the comedy troupe's reunion shows this month (Jul14), insisting the memory aid did not ruin the experience for the audience. The veteran funnyman struggled to remember his lines during the huge gigs at London's O2 Arena and faced a scolding from critics for reading the words from off-stage signs.
Jones tells Walesonline.co.uk, "I couldn't remember my lines so it's absolutely true (that I relied on cue cards)," but he is adamant the cue cards did not detract from the show "at all".
The funnyman's co-star John Cleese famously forgot his lines during the troupe's classic dead parrot sketch when the final show was beamed to cinemas around the world and broadcast live on U.K. TV on Sunday (20Jul14).
"Much tighter show tonight. With a great crowd. Terry J cut his face open in the first sketch. Just a flesh wound. We may keep it in..." Eric Idle reveals Terry Jones was injured during Monty Python's second show of their comeback residency at London's O2 Arena on Wednesday (02Jul14). The run opened on Tuesday night (01Jul14) to mixed reviews.
Legendary comedy troupe Monty Python sealed their live comeback in front of 16,000 fans in London on Tuesday night (01Jul14). John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin kicked off their Monty Python Live (mostly) residency at the O2 Arena in front of a sellout crowd, marking their first public performance together since 1980.
They tackled classic sketches including the famous Dead Parrot gag, their I'm A Lumberjack song, and a rousing rendition of Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.
The show also featured a live cameo from Stephen Fry, while TV star Professor Brian Cox and Stephen Hawking appeared in a taped segment, which included the revered physicist being pushed into a river.
However, the first gig sparked lacklustre reviews from critics, with many suggesting the act relied too much on old jokes and video sequences.
Peter Bradshaw of Britain's The Guardian writes, "Monty Python Live (mostly) isn't bad: it gives the crowd exactly what they want but relies pretty heavily on the fan love and makes a hefty withdrawal from the reputation bank... This live show won't make any converts. But it sends the faithful away happy."
The Independent's John Walsh writes, "I was a fan of the Monty Ps from the start, and it pains me to criticise them. But this is desperately lazy production, resting on its laurels, uninterested in showcasing new material, relying on TV footage and the whooping adulation of an audience who know all the words," but adds, "Elderly, much-loved and much-seen sketches are revivified in their mid-70s glory."
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail's Quentin Letts writes, "Once they were the sharpest thing in satire. Last night, quite often, they looked and sounded like a dodgy tribute band."
Hugh Grant, Christoph Waltz, David Walliams, and Emma Thompson were among the celebrity guests who caught the show, which runs through until 20 July (14).
Rolling Stones stars Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts have filmed a skit to promote the Monty Python comedy troupe's live comeback. In the sketch, posted on YouTube.com on Monday (30Jun14), Jagger jokes that the comedians planning for a string of London reunion dates may be past their prime.
He asks bandmate Watts, "Monty Python? Are they still going? Who wants to see that again? They're a bunch of wrinkly old men trying to relive their youth and make a load of money."
The joke is a reference to criticism aimed at the Stones, who are still touring in their 70s.
Meanwhile, the five surviving members of the British comedy troupe - John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - have revealed that astrophysicists Stephen Hawking and Brian Cox will feature in filmed skits and comedian David Walliams will conduct red carpet interviews at their final show on 20 July (14).
British stuntman Terry Richards, who famously fought Indiana Jones on the big screen, has died, aged 81. Richards passed away on 14 June (14). His cause of death had not been revealed as WENN went to press.
His son, Terry Richards, Jr., tells the BBC, "He was still in good health but he was more ill than he thought... He'd been dragged behind cars, fallen off buildings, shot, punched. He always used to get up, but this time sadly he wasn't getting up."
His most famous role was in 1981 blockbuster Raiders of the Lost Ark as a swordsman in Egypt who attempts to coax Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones into a fight. In the iconic scene, Richards' sword display is cut off by a single gun shot from the title character.
During his 50-year career, he worked on more than 100 films including nine James Bond movies, Star Wars, The Dirty Dozen and The Princess Bride and doubled for Donald Sutherland, Tom Selleck and Sir Christopher Lee.
His last film appearance was in 1997 Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies before he retired in 1999.
Fans who missed out on tickets to Monty Python's sold-out reunion shows will be able to catch a live broadcast of the comedy group's final performance on U.K. TV. The beloved comedy troupe will hit the stage at London's O2 Arena in July (14) for a run of shows, which sold out seconds after becoming available last November (13).
However, fans will be able to catch their last show on 20 July (14) from the comfort of their own homes as it will be broadcast live on Britain's comedy channel Gold.
Eric Idle says, "What could be finer at the end of a long life in comedy, than a chance to reunite with old pals and say goodbye to all our fans in one final mad musical show. We are very excited that not only do we get the chance to screw up on stage, we get a chance to screw up live on TV too."
The run will mark the first time the group - Idle, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - have performed together in public since 1983.
Comedy troupe Monty Python had to replace all their stage clothes and hats for their upcoming reunion shows because the original garments were ruined by moths. The veteran sketch show team - John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin - announced in November (13) they will be performing 10 shows at London's O2 Arena in July (14) to bring the curtain down on their career.
They have since revealed no original material will be performed at the concerts and fans will instead be treated to the team's classic and best-loved sketches, but the five funnymen will be dressed in new clothes because their original props were wrecked in storage.
Palin tells British magazine Event, "Most of the overalls and the hats have been eaten by moths so they don't actually exist. I do have my old spangled jacket from the Blackmail sketch, but sadly it doesn't fit any more."
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
With only a week and change having passed since the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we no doubt feel the question living fresh in our minds: can we ever judge a remake without considering its predecessors? The conversation about the stark contrast in critical favor between Marc Webb's release and Sam Raimi's trilogy (the second installment of his franchise in particular) buzzed loudly, and we imagine the volume will keep in regards to Gareth Edwards' Godzilla. But it'll be a different sound altogether.
The original Godzilla, a Japanese film released in 1954, reinvented the identity of the monster movie, launched a 30-film legacy, and spoke legions about the political climate of its era. The most recent of these films — Roland Emmerich's 1998 American production — is universally bemoaned as a bigger disaster than anything to befall Tokyo at the hands of the giant reptile. With these two entries likely standing out as the most prominent in the minds of contemporary audiences, Edwards' Godzilla has some long shadows cast before it. And in approaching the new movie, one might not be able to avoid comparisons to either. It's fair — by taking on an existing property, a filmmaker knowingly takes on the connotations of that property. But the 2014 installment's great success is that it isn't much like any Godzilla movie we've seen before. In a great, great way.
This isn't 1954's Godzilla, a dire and occasionally dreary allegory that uses the supernatural to tell an important story about nuclear holocaust. A complete reversal, in fact, first and foremost Edwards' Godzilla is about its monsters. Any grand themes strewn throughout — the perseverence of nature, the follies of mankind, fatherhood, madness, faith — are all in service to the very simple mission to give us some cool, weighty, articulate sci-fi disaster. Elements of gravity are plotted all over the film's surface, with scientists, military men (kudos to Edwards for not going the typical "scientists = good/smart, military = bad/dumb" route in this film — everybody here is at least open to suggestion), doctors, police officers, and a compassionate bus driver all wrestling with options in the face of behemoth danger. The humanity is everpresent, but never especially intrusive. To reiterate, this isn't a film about any of these people, or what they do.
Warner Bros. Pictures via Everett Collection
The closest thing to a helping of thematic (or human) significance comes with Ken Watanabe's Dr. Serizawa, who spouts awe-stricken maxims about cryptozoology, the Earth, and the inevitable powerlessness of man. He might not be supplying anything more substantial than our central heroes (soft-hearted soldier Aaron Taylor-Johnson, dutiful medic and mom Elizabeth Olsen, right-all-along conspiracy theorist Bryan Cranston), but Watanabe's bonkers performance as the harried scientist is so bizarrely good that you might actually believe, for a scene or two, that it all does mean something.
Ultimately, the beauty of our latest taste of Godzilla lies not in the commitment to a message that made the original so important nor in the commitment to levity that made Emmerich's so pointless, but in its commitment to imagination. Edwards' creature design is dazzling, his deus ex machina are riveting, and the ultimate payoff to which he treats his audience is the sort of gangbusters crowd-pleaser that your average contemporary monster movie is too afraid to consider.
In fairness, this year's Godzilla might not be considered an adequate remake, not quite reciprocating the ideals, tone, or importance of the original. Sure, anyone looking for a 2014 answer to 1954's game-changing paragon will find sincere philosophy traded for pulsing adventure... but they'd have a hard time ignoring the emphatic charm of this new lens for the 60-year-old lizard, both a highly original composition and a tribute in its way to the very history of monster movies (a history that owes so much to the creature in question). So does Godzilla '14 successfully fill the shoes of Godzilla '54? No — it rips them apart and dons a totally new pair... though it still has a lot of nice things to say about the first kicks.
Oh, and the '98 Godzilla? Yeah, it's better than that.
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Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As grand as the themes of good and evil, needs and deservings, power and responsibility and such forth are, superhero movies are generally pretty straightforward in premise: hero stops villain from wreaking havoc. As off-putting as this kind of simplicity might sound, it's usually the right way to go. If you pack enough substance into your characters and adhere your plot to these linear margins, you can actually wind up saying a healthy amount (and having a lot of fun). The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets half of this formula down pat. Although Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker is still a moreover undistinguished identity, his emotional magnitude (re: his relationship with Gwen Stacy) is enough to keep him valid through the storm of lunacy that is his second feature. And it's not even that lunacy that holds him back. The problem isn't how wild his conquests are, how silly some of the action sequences feel, or how absolutely bonkers his villains turn out to be. It's all the other stuff (and yes, if you can believe it, there's a ton more going on in this movie than what I've already mentioned — that's the issue). All the plot twists, tertiary mysteries, ominous flashbacks, abject reveals, and weightlessly sinister pawns in this brooding game that, save for its fun with the baddies, takes itself way too seriously. All that stuff that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 thinks is necessary to make Peter Parker matter? It actually does just the opposite.
Peter is at his best when he's playing Tracy and Hepburn with the girlfriend he's perpetually disappointing (the eternally charming Emma Stone), or trying to win back the favor of the only remaining parental figure from whom he's rapidly slipping away (Sally Field, reminding us why she's a household name), or angling to connect with the mentally unstable engineer who just wants people to notice him (Jamie Foxx working his comic shtick with a frightening zest). We have the most fun with Peter when he's playing the simplest games, and we connect best with him on similar ground. But Peter and company, at the behest of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise's Sandman-sized aspirations, spend so much time exploring new avenues: the secrets surrounding the death and work of Richard Parker, the behind-the-curtains operations of OsCorp, the nefarious goings on in the waterside penitentiary Ravencroft.
Columbia Pictures via Everett Collection
As a result of the grand stab at world building, there is just so much stuff that Peter has to wade through in this movie, dragging the likes of Gwen and his boyhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan, mastering angst, menace, and upper-class privilege all at once) into the dark crevasses of narrative waste. With so many diversions into the emotionally vacant, deliberately joyless explorations of Parker family origin stories, secret brief cases, and underground subways — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 rivals Captain America: The Winter Soldier in complexity, but forgets the necessary ingredient of fun — we barely have enough energy left when the good stuff hits.
And in truth, the good stuff isn't really good enough to sustain us through all the duller periods. Garfield and Stone do have laudable chemistry. Foxx is a hoot as Peter's maniacal new foe, especially when paired with the grimacing DeHaan. And the action, while often straying from any aesthetic authenticity, is nothing shy of neat-o. It's all passable, occasionally worthy of a hearty smile, but rarely anything you'll be definitively pleased you took the time to see.
But beyond coming up short in the micro, the film's regal downfall is its scope. With so much to do, both in accomplishing its own necessary plot points and setting up for those to come in future films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn't seem to take time to make sure it's having fun with its own premise. And if it isn't having fun, we won't be either.
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